ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN VFX
March 4 - 14, 2021



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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN VFX
SPARK FX 2021: CONFERENCE
March 4 - 14, 2021

Join us at SPARK FX this year for the AI IN VFX stream, where we dive into the different ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used in the VFX industry. This stream will showcase various phases of the production pipeline which includes how AI can be used to improve the workflow of artists and filmmakers, to allow them to produce higher quality content in a faster/cost-effective way and remain competitive in an ever changing market.

Examples of topics include the use of AI as a tool to help artists with photo-realistic human face generation and control, cloth simulations, character rigging and animation, augmented reality VFX, and even asking the AI itself to be creative.

STREAM CO-CHAIRS
Ivan Aguilar
Simon Franser University

José Serra
Digital Domain

Buy Passes & Tickets Here >>

Return to Main Conference Page >>



SCHEDULE

DAY 1THURSDAY - MARCH 04, 2021
6:00 pmPRESENTATION
AI IN REAL-TIME HUMANS FOR GAMES & FILM
moderator: Shridhar Ravikumar with James Jacobs
6:00 pmPRESENTATION
DEEP BODY IK & MACHINE LEARNING FOR RIGGING & ANIMATION
with John-Mark Gibbons
6:00 pmPRESENTATION
REAL-TIME DATA-DRIVEN CHARACTER CLOTHING
with David Minor
6:00 pmPRESENTATION
AI, AR, & FX: THE KAYFABE LIFE
with Andrew Glassner
6:00 pmPRESENTATION
CREATIVE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & MOVIE MAKING:
THE ARTIST IN THE LOOP

with James Hursthouse, Philippe Pasquier & Sang Mah


Thursday - March 4, 6:00 PM
PRESENTATION
AI IN REAL-TIME HUMANS FOR GAMES & FILM
Presented by Ziva Dynamics
moderator: Shridhar Ravikumar with James Jacobs

Discover how machine learning & AI research is merging blockbuster-quality CGI with the game industry's leading real-time productions environments. Attendees will get a behind the scenes look into the photo-real and scalable virtual human face technology used on massive AAA titles of 2021. As well, see in real-time, how new video footage can be used to drive a machine learned face in Unreal Engine.


Thursday - March 4, 6:00 PM
PRESENTATION
DEEP BODY IK & MACHINE LEARNING FOR RIGGING & ANIMATION
Presented by Digital Domain
with John-Mark Gibbons

Ideal for beginner riggers and technical artists looking to harness Machine Learning for Rigging and Animation tools. John-Mark shares his expertise on Deep Body IK System while working at Digital Domain. Learn the core concepts against the backdrop of the Deep Body IK, a human IK system trained using motion capture.


Thursday - March 4, 6:00 PM
PRESENTATION
REAL-TIME DATA-DRIVEN CHARACTER CLOTHING
Presented by Digital Domain
with David Minor

David Minor presents Digital Domain work on data driven approaches for character clothing. Often cloth simulations are practical for real time applications, but the achievable resolutions and collision object fidelity are limited by tight time budgets. This makes it difficult to simulate wrinkling, collision intensive heavy items of clothing like trousers and shirts.

Data driven approaches provide an alternative to this, allowing for run example simulations in advance without worrying about time constraints. A machine learning model, e.g. based on neural networks, can then be trained on these examples, resulting in an approximation of the simulation that is computationally cheap enough for real time applications.


Thursday - March 4, 6:00 PM
PRESENTATION
AI, AR, & FX: THE KAYFABE LIFE
Presented by Weta Digital
with Andrew Glassner

With artificial intelligence powering the tools of visual effects, the future of augmented reality is bursting with wonderful opportunities, fascinating challenges, and dangers.


Thursday - March 4, 6:00 PM
PRESENTATION
CREATIVE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & MOVIE MAKING:
THE ARTIST IN THE LOOP

Presented by AMPD Technologies
with James Hursthouse, Philippe Pasquier & Sang Mah

The application of artificial intelligence (AI) has impacted many aspects of the movie-making process, as well as other creative endeavours, spawning heightened interest in ‘Creative AI’ where computers are not only being smart, but are being asked to be creative as well.

Tasks in traditional and real-time digital media production, such as face simulation, environment creation, animation, motion capture, image manipulation, and sound design among others, are likely to change even further due to developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning technology.

In this session, Philippe Pasquier provides an overview of the concepts involved in Creative AI prior to a discussion around the innovations that are expected to shape the future of linear and interactive entertainment and storytelling.

By attending this session, you will gain a better understanding of Creative AI, and examples of how AI is being utilized in modern movie-making and other creative activities.


BIOGRAPHIES

Andrew Glassner
Sr Research Scientist // Weta Digital

Andrew Glassner is a Senior Research Scientist at Weta Digital, where he works on applying deep learning to the production of visual effects for movies and television.

Glassner has served as Papers Chair of the SIGGRAPH '94 Papers Committee, Founding Editor of the Journal of Computer Graphics Tools, and Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Graphics. Andrew is a well-known writer of numerous technical papers and books. Among his books include the "Graphics Gems" series, and the two-volume text "Principles of Digital Image Synthesis." His most recent book is "Deep Learning: A Visual Approach." He has carried out research at the NYIT Computer Graphics Lab, Xerox PARC, Microsoft Research, and Weta Digital.

Glassner has written and directed live-action and animated films, written novels and screenplays, and was creator-writer-director of an online multiplayer murder-mystery game for The Microsoft Network.

In his spare time, Andrew paints, plays and writes music, and hikes.

Personal Website
Weta Digital
LinkedIn


David Minor
R&D VFX Developer // Digital Domain
(Avengers: Endgame)

David Minor is an R&D Visual Effects developer who has worked on films like Inception, Elysium and Avengers: Infinity War. His current areas of interest are physics-based simulation for character effects and machine learning for production and real-time applications.

LinkedIn


James Hursthouse
Chief Strategy Officer // AMPD Technologies

James Hursthouse is a twenty-year veteran of the global games, digital media and technology sectors. He has experience and proven success across content development and publishing, infrastructure and technology for 'games as a service', and more recently with new technologies such as mixed reality, block chain and AI. After spending the first half of his career in Japan and Silicon Valley, James moved to Vancouver, BC in 2010 to co-found and be the CEO of Roadhouse Interactive, a mobile gaming studio that grew to 180 people at its peak. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at AMPD (CSE: AMPD), a company focused on developing high-performance compute and cloud infrastructure solutions to properly cater to the needs of low-latency applications.

AMPD Technologies


James Jacobs
Co-Founder & CEO // Ziva Dynamics
(Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)

Ziva Co-founder & CEO, James Jacobs, is an Academy Award winning VFX artist with over 25 years of expertise as a Technical Director and Software Engineer. James has held leadership positions at the world’s top VFX and animation studios, including Weta Digital, Digital Domain, Dreamworks, Mr. X and Method Studios. He has received critical acclaim for his professional contributions to blockbusters such as Avatar, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Prometheus, and King Kong.

In 2015, Jacobs co-founded Ziva Dynamics, a technology company dedicated to solving the most challenging and high-value character obstacles within the media & entertainment space. Ziva technology is considered the gold standard for creature work across Hollywood, and now, Ziva is tackling the real-time game industry.

Ziva Dynamics
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
IMDb.com


John-Mark Gibbons
Animation & Rigging TD // Digital Domain
(The Mandalorian, Aladdin, Thor: Ragnarok, Valerian)

John-Mark Gibbons started out in Creature FX and Rigging after completing the Animation and Visual Effects course at the Vancouver Film School. JM worked at MPC, Rainmaker Entertainment, ILM, and Hybride in this capacity on a number of notable projects including The Mandalorian, Aladdin, Thor: Ragnarok, The Mummy and Valerian.

He transitioned out of his Senior Rigging Artist role in 2019, to pursue his passion for development. JM currently works at Digital Domain as an Animation and Rigging TD, where he builds and maintains various tools for the rigging and animation teams.

In the past couple years, JM has been exploring Machine Learning and its untapped potential for rigging and animation.

Personal Website
LinkedIn


Philippe Pasquier
Associate Dean Academic // Simon Fraser University

Philippe Pasquier is an associate professor at the Simon Fraser University School for Interactive Arts and Technology, in Vancouver, where he directs the Metacreation Lab for Creative AI. Philippe leads a research-creation program around generative systems for creative tasks. As such, he is a scientist specialized in artificial intelligence, a multidisciplinary artist, an educator, and a community builder. His contributions range from theoretical research in multi-agent systems, computational creativity, creative AI and machine learning, to applied artistic research and practice in digital art, computer music, as well as interactive and generative art.

Philippe's artistic work has been shown in prominent venues on all five continents, including at Ars Electronica (Austria), Les Bains Numériques (France), Centre Pompidou (France), Earzoom festival (Slovenia), GMEA (France), IRCAM (France), ISEA2012 (Turkey), ISEA2014 (Dubai), ISEA2016 (Honk Kong), ISEA2017 (Columbia), Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (Canada), Mutek Festival (Canada), and Plus One Gallery (USA).


Sang Mah
Managing Director // Shocap Entertainment

Sang Mah has enjoyed a multi-faceted career in digital media, encompassing content creation, research and development, and private public partnerships. She is currently Managing Director at Shocap Entertainment, an extended reality entertainment production company exploring new ways to tell stories that reach audiences in unique forms by combining the language, conventions, and mediums of live theatre, film, animation, and video games. Shocap is founded by Lifelike & Believable Animation Design and Animatrik Film Design with a debut project LiViCi for live and virtual circus. Prior to her current role, Sang spent eight years with a national non-profit organization supporting industry-academic collaborations and consortiums across all disciplines. Other former roles include Director of Interactive at Bardel Entertainment, and executive roles with local tech start-ups. Since 2019, Sang has also been a member of the Spark CG Leadership Committee.

Shocap Entertainment


Shridhar Ravikumar

Coming soon.


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